Sales is not just about generating leads. It is about building relationships, nurturing those relationships and then selling to them. The sales process is a series of activities that start with identifying the customer, understanding their needs and wants, building trust and credibility with the prospect, closing the deal and delivering on those promises you made during your product or service presentation.
But if you think that’s all there is to it, you’re missing out on one of the most important aspects of sales — winning new business.
The first step in winning new business is developing an effective sales operations function. This means developing a strong internal capability to support your outside sales efforts. But what does “strong internal capability” look like? Here are five ways to develop a world-class sales operations function:
1. Create an environment of continuous improvement.
2. Cultivate a culture of learning and innovation, not just at the top but across the organization.
3. Ensure that everyone has a voice in how things are done, even those who are on the bottom line.
4. Empower your people with autonomy, so they can make decisions without having to ask permission from a higher up or outside authority figures. This will create ownership and also help them do their jobs better because they know they did not get it wrong, nor did they get it right because someone else told them what needed to be done first or what needed to be done last.
5. Make sure you have a clear set of goals for the sales operations function (and all other functions), then develop metrics that are aligned with those goals so that when you hit them, you celebrate!